Archive for power ballads

Great Metal Albums of 1988: RATT- Reach for the Sky

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2022 by 80smetalman

The big question I ask myself in regards to RATT’s 1988 album, “Reach for the Sky,” is: Were they on a downward slope? While the album would go platinum and reach 82 in the UK charts, it failed to really make a dent. In 1988, I didn’t even know this album was out at the time. It didn’t help that the two singles released from the album, “I Want a Woman” and “Way Cool Jr.” failed to break into the top 40 in the US, let alone the UK. Funny thing is that when comparing the singles to those from the previous album, “Dancing Undercover,” I like these two more, especially “I Want a Woman,” which is more of a throwback to their former days of glory. Then again, “Way Cool Jr.” has a nice swagger to it.

My hypothesis for the album not getting the love it deserved is that many people might have been in agreement with my sister who claimed that by the previous album, they should change their name to RUTT. However, after re-familiarizing myself with the album, I think it’s pretty good. Definitely better than the previous album in my opinion although still not as good as the first two. “City to City” gives the album a promising start with straight forward heavy metal. It definitely got my attention for the rest of the album.

Following the two singles is a definite throwback to RATT’s early days with “Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds.” This one has a hard rocking edge while at the same time letting you know it’s a RATT song. Stephen’s vocals are better though the guitar solo could have been a little longer. It gives me the impression that it was played by Robbin because Warren definitely hammers some of the band’s best guitar solos in the past. “I Want to Love You Tonight” starts with a very cool acoustic guitar before going full power chords. I have to admit, it’s a pretty cool power ballad and I can’t help thinking that it’s definitely Warren on the guitar solo here. Am I right in assuming that most of the metal world thought that Warren was the better guitarist of the two? In any case, “I Want to Love You Tonight” is my hidden gem on the album.

Side two brought up a second question for me. Would “Reach for the Sky” follow “Dancing Undercover” with an inferior second side? Kick off track, “Chain Reaction” states that you have nothing to worry about with the second half of the album. It’s as close as RATT would come to speed metal but it’s a strong powerful track and it’s good to see them just go for it here. Melodic power chords on “No Surprise” go further to hold the second half of the album up to the first. It’s more early RATT but at the same time, sounds fresh. By this point, I feel safe to say that RATT were no longer in a rut.

Concern three in regards to the previous album. With that album, I thought the last three tracks were okay by uninspiring. “Bottom Line” with its cool lead guitar intro reassures that it won’t be the case. The band just keeps doing what they had done so far and produce another catchy headbanger. Another plus for the album is that penultimate track, “What’s It Gonna Be,” isn’t the weakest link. It holds its own and not one to skip. Closer, “What I’m After” rocks the album out to a great conclusion.

Track Listing:

  1. City to City
  2. I Want a Woman
  3. Way Cool Jr.
  4. Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds (note: this song was used by pro wrestler Brian Pillman for his ring entry)
  5. I Want to Love You Tonight
  6. Chain Reaction
  7. No Surprise
  8. Bottom Line
  9. What’s It Gonna Be
  10. What I’m After
Ratt

Stephen Pearcy- lead vocals

Warren DeMartini- guitar, backing vocals

Robbin Crosby- guitar, backing vocals

Juan Crocier- bass, backing vocals

Bobby Blotzer- drums, percussion, harmonica, washboard

For me, “Reach for the Sky” was a noticeable improvement from the previous album. That begs the question, Why wasn’t it more popular? Maybe fair weather metal crowd had given up on them but they did enough for the hardcore fans.

Franco Harris

On a non music related note, not only great musicians are leaving us, but also some great sports stars. Two days ago, Pittsburgh Steelers legend Franco Harris passed away. He was largely responsible for me becoming a Steelers fan as he was the one who caught the ‘immaculate deflection’ in the 1972 playoffs and ran it in for a touchdown. The saddest part is that Franco passed away just three days before the 50th anniversary of his great achievement.

Rest in peace Franco Harris

Next post: Merry Christmas

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

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Great Metal Albums of 1988: Mass- Take You Home

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2022 by 80smetalman

What surprised me about Mass’s follow up album to their debut album, “New Birth,” is that it’s only an EP. I would have thought that a full length LP would have been on the cards, building on the momentum of the debut. “Take Me Home” has only six songs, so the question is, Are they six killer songs?

Opener, “Peddle to the Metal,” gives the impression that the answer to the question is in the affirmative. It’s a real power rocker with all four members firing on all cylinders and it definitely does what an opener should do, grab you by the throat and demand that you listen to the album. Following on, “Can’t Get Enough” reaffirms all the things I said about guitarist Gen D’Itria on the debut. He nails a really great guitar solo, actually, a couple of them and although not as fast as the opener, it’s a great power rocker in its own right.

Mass go near thrash on “Want It Back.” The song opens with a cool drum roll from Joey Vadala and then things just go nuts. The speed of the song is no effort for singer Louie St. August as he breezes through it with his versatile vocal style. The real noteworthy part of the song is the bass line by Kevin Varrio, it really pumps through the song. There is a slight easing of the gas pedal on, “Over You.” It’s a song about moving on after an ended relationship but it’s done fast and powerful and we are treated to a blinding guitar solo from Gene. However, while I won’t call the song weak, it’s the least strongest track on the EP. What brings it down in my eyes is the chorus is repeated a little too much.

The title track is a straight forward metal tune with the band doing everything they do right on it. If they didn’t, then this one would have been the least strongest track. Fortunately, the chorus isn’t repeated over and over till you get bored with it and I do love Louie’s scream at the end. “New Birth” had two power ballads on it but “Take Me Home” has part of one. Closer, “Holy One,” starts as if it’s going to be a power ballad but actually ventures into Black Sabbath type doom metal in places. Then it accelerates to a faster tempo and just cooks. The vocal style changes are done with considerable ease and and the rest of the band keeps up. Full marks to the rhythm section and Gene’s rhythm guitar. I really love the bridge in the middle where it tantalizes you with what appears to be an impending guitar solo but holds off for a minute or two. The guitar solo is short but sweet and the song slows back to power ballad status before the end. Best song on the album and a great way to end it.

Track Listing:

  1. Pedal to the Metal
  2. Can’t Get Enough
  3. Want it Back
  4. Over You
  5. Take You Home
  6. Holy One

Louie St. August- vocals

Gen D’Itria- guitar

Kevin Varrio- bass

Joey Vadala- drums

Unlike with their debut, I didn’t get the opportunity to see these guys live. However, there were people in the UK who had heard of them. Is that strange? I’m sure that if I had, judging from “Take You Home,” they would have kicked even more ass than the first time around. So, the answer to the original question is almost, five and a half killer songs.

Next post: Celtic Frost- Cold Lake

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition giving Bruce Dickinson his well deserved knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson?redirect=false

Great Rock One Hit Wonders Of 1988

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2022 by 80smetalman

It’s that part of the tour of any year where I pay tribute to those artists who have one great song in that year. For 1988, there are three of those who make it to this post. The first one is another example of artists who make it on one side of the Atlantic but not the other. In the UK, Voice of the Beehive will be forever known as one hit wonders for their punk-new wave energised hit, “I Say Nothing.” To my shame, that song has stuck with me ever since I heard it but never dug further. It is my understanding that Voice of the Beehive were much bigger in their native USA.

For the second one, I can’t use the I wasn’t in America at the time excuse because Enya hails from Ireland. My first wife was really into her and her former band Clannad. I never really delved into Enya that much but I do remember this amazing Celtic inspired song “Orinoco Flow.”

Song three comes courtesy of the Australian soap opera “Neighbours.” At the end of 1988, two of the top stars of the soap, played by Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue, were married. In the soap, not in real life and this song from fellow Aussie singer, Angry Anderson was the wedding’s theme song. To many, a song from a hard rocking bald buy was controversial but it worked and was a huge hit for him and even I like it. It’s a decent power ballad.

Have a listen to the three songs and take yourself back to 1988 and if you were born after, then just remember we had some great music in that year.

Next post: Doninington- Triumph and Tragedy

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Is There Something I Can Do?

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2022 by 80smetalman

I did something stupid yesterday. I had CD1 of the above three CD compilation album in my car, listening to it on my way to and from work. When I got home, I put it into my back pocket to put away but guess what? Yes, sh*t for brains here forgot to take the CD out of his pocket. I only noticed it last night when I took Mrs. 80smetalman out for dinner and went to pay. When I reached for the wallet, I also found the CD and when I took it out, it was broken beyond hope. Yep, I acknowledge it was stupid.

Here’s my question: Is there any way I could just get CD1? I don’t want to buy it again when the CD’s two and three are working fine. Besides, the album was a birthday present from my daughter five years ago, therefore, it has sentimental value. If not, some great songs like Dokken’s “Alone Again,” the famous “Beth” by KISS, “Silent Lucidity” from Queensryche will be lost. Plus, there are songs from Damn Yankees, Free and a rather predictable one from Foreigner.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Great Rock Albums of 1988: Glass Tiger- Diamond Sun

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2022 by 80smetalman

With “Diamond Sun” being the second album from Canadians, Glass Tiger, I had no pre-conceived notions about what the album should or shouldn’t sound like. After posting on their debut album, “The Thin Red Line,” I knew they weren’t a metal band but more of a pop-rock outfit. While that might have put me off in 1988, it doesn’t do so now and I appreciate what a good album “Diamond Sun” is.

It seems that with the first two tracks, Glass Tiger seemed to be copying U2 as that’s what those tracks remind of. Al Connelly’s riffs are similar to those of the The Edge on these tracks and if I didn’t know better, it could have been Bono singing on the tracks instead of Alan Frew. Now, I’m not condemning Glass Tiger for this influence because both of those songs are pretty good, it’s just my insane mind picking things like that up.

Glass Tiger do go more original on the third track, “I’m Still Searching,” which I have discovered went to number two in the Canadian charts. So, well done to them. Listening to the track, it is definitely a made for radio commercial rock song and it does have a catchy vibe to it. My only minor criticism is they should have let Al do a longer guitar solo. Right after, we come to the ballad, “A Lifetime of Moments.” I’m surprised that this one wasn’t released as a single because it’s also a radio friendly ballad. I do love the sax solo from guest musician, Earl Seymour.

They do rock things up a bit more of “It’s Love U Feel” and while the bassline is present for many of the songs, it is definitely the driving force behind the song. Full marks to Wayne Parker but while the tempo picks up and there are some good little guitar hooks, it reminds a little of Duran Duran, except for the cool guitar solo. The track “Send Your Love” is in a similar vein to this one and that included a cool guitar solo.

Full marks should also be given to the band for not being afraid to explore. On “My Song,” they get with Irish folk band, The Chieftains, and make a really nice sounding Gaelic rock tune. As for the hidden gem, it’s a no brainer, the power ballad, “(Watching) Worlds Crumble” wins it hands down. It’s great listening to Alan Frew croon his way through with power chords and a great solo from Al Connelly. The piano parts from Sam Reid bring an air of tenderness to the song before a cool drum fill from Michael Hanson lead the charge which takes the song out on a high. “Suffer in Silence” has a Stevie Nicks feel on the intro but other than that, nothing special and while “This Island Earth” is a good closer, it does go on a little too long.

Track Listing:

  1. Diamond Sun
  2. Far Away From Here
  3. I’m Still Searching
  4. A Lifetime of Moments
  5. It’s Love U Feel
  6. My Song
  7. (Watching) Worlds Crumble
  8. Send Your Love
  9. Suffer in Silence
  10. This Island Earth
Glass Tiger

Alan Frew- vocals

Al Connelly- guitar

Sam Reid- keyboards

Wayne Parker- bass

Michael Hanson- drums, additional guitars

Additional Musicians:

Dabello, Arnold Lanni, Sheree Jeacocke, Colina Phillips- backing vocals

Keith Scott- additional guitar

Jim Vallance- additional drums and keyboards

Rene Worst- additional fretless bass

Earl Seymour- saxophone

Full credit where due, Glass Tiger was a very talented band and it shows on this album. I might have passed this one by back in 1988, especially as it was unheard of in the UK but I can appreciate it now.

Next post: The Bangles- Everything

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to have Bruce Dickinson knighted, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Great White- Once Bitten

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2022 by 80smetalman

After being dropped by their label after their commercially disappointing debut album, (I thought it was good), Great White went for a more bluesier sound with their next album, “Shot in the Dark.” That was a great album and I just went back into the archives and reread how much I gushed over it. With that said, that album was simply a warm up for what I consider Great White’s best album, “Once Bitten.” On this album, they took the more metal debut album and their more blues second album and combined them to make this one their greatest album.

One thing I like about “Once Bitten” is that all of the tracks here, bar one, seem to have brilliant guitar intros. Whether it’s the riffing of rhythm guitarist Michael Lardie or solos from lead guitarist Mark Kendall, they bring each song in on a very high note before the rest of the band join in and carry that song to the end. Jack Russell’s vocals are superb but I stick by what I wrote when I visited “Shot in the Dark” what seems ages ago, Lorne Black is a totally underrated bass player! I love his basslines on practically every song and a good reason why none of the songs on this album can be considered filler.

Let me now go straight to not only the best song on the album but my favourite Great White song of all time, “Rock Me.” After the first two tracks deliver a great build up, this third track just blows me away. It describes exactly what I mean with Great White finding the metal and blues combination and creating something phenomenal with it because that’s what they do with “Rock Me.” Everything I said about the band in the above paragraph comes through many fold on this song. Plus, I should be gushing over what a great guitarist Mark Kendall is because he definitely earns that title here.

I know it’s a tired 80smetalman cliche which I’ve said many times but in the case of “Once Bitten,” one song doesn’t make an album. After being blown away by “Rock Me,” “All Over Now” comes in as a straight forward metal jam with that cool intro and some great guitar work and vocals held together by a strong as steel rhythm section. I haven’t mentioned him yet so I will now because Audie Desbrow lets us know what a great drummer he is as he puts in some great fills on this one.

An acoustic blues riff starts “Mistreater” before things just go total metal nuts but if you listen carefully, you can hear the honky tonk piano in the background. This is another effective blues-metal combination which is a great one to bang along to with some great soloing from Mark before the acoustic close out. More acoustic intros follow on “Never Change Heart.” It starts out as a potential ballad before morphing into a mid-tempo metal tune. Once again, Lorne’s bassline is prominent.

While there aren’t any filler tracks on the album, “Fast Road” for me is the least strongest. Maybe it’s me but this one seems, except for Audie’s drumroll intro, to come and go without much notice. It’s simply a good but unspectacular metal song and that’s okay. Probably because it is the fastest song on the album. Penultimate track, “On the Edge,” for some reason keeps confusing me with the Hurricane hit, “Take Me In Your Arms.” Don’t ask me why, it’s probably down to my insane mind but they do sound similar to me.

Finally we get to the closer and I ask myself: “How in the hell didn’t ‘Save Your Love’ make it on my top 30 power ballads list?” Perhaps I do need my head examined because this is a blinder of of a power ballad. Great White do everything they have done on previous tracks but just take it a little more slower. Believe me, it’s one hell of a power ballad! Passionate vocals, acoustic guitar and a great guitar solo, it’s all there. Thinking back to “Shot in the Dark” where they conclude that album with a power ballad, it could be that power ballad closers is the band’s trademark.

Track Listing:

  1. Lady Red Light
  2. Gonna Getcha
  3. Rock Me
  4. All Over Now
  5. Mistreater
  6. Never Change Heart
  7. Fast Road
  8. On the Edge
  9. Save Your Love

Note: The UK version omits four of these tracks and replaces them with four tracks from “Shot in the Dark.”

Great White

Jack Russell- lead and backing vocals

Mark Kendall- lead guitar, backing vocals

Michael Lardie- rhythm guitar, keyboards, harmonica, backing vocals

Lorne Black- bass, backing vocals

Audie Desbrow- drums

For me, “Once Bitten” is the best album from Great White. They do everything well here and it shows!

Next post: Lizzy Borden- Terror Rising

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Helix- Wild in the Streets

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2022 by 80smetalman

In 1987, Helix came out with “Wild in the Streets,” which, judging from what I’ve read, didn’t do too well for the band. It did go Gold in Canada but barely charted in the US. Being in England, I didn’t know this album even existed until recently and only heard of it thanks to my Canadian readers. Still, whatever the history or so-called critics say, I think the album was pretty good.

An AC/DC vibe opens the album with the title cut. The guitars remind me of “For Those About to Rock, We Salute” and the opening vocal salvo from Brian Volmer does sound a little like Brian Johnson. Still the track gives the album a promising start. This is quickly followed by the boogie woogie sounding “Never Gonna Stop the Rock.” The song has an unmissable swagger to it which makes you want to bob along to it and some good guitar solos as well.

Oh what a great power ballad “Dream On” could have been! Not to be confused with the Aerosmith classic, this song was originally recorded by 1970s Scottish legends, Nazareth. Being a sucker for a great power ballad, Helix’s “Dream On” had great potential but unfortunately, the production doesn’t seem to be up to scratch as compared to the rest of the album. Shame, because everything needed to be a great power ballad is there. Acoustic guitars backed up by piano chops before the power chords kick in. Brian’s vocals sound extremely passionate and there’s a killer guitar solo. It’s just too bad the production is off putting.

Don’t worry, Helix get back to rocking out with “What Ya Bringing to the Party.” My answer is a couple of six packs and a bottle of Jack but this is a great party tune. One for sticking into the car stereo and going for a cruise on a Saturday night. But the party doesn’t end because right after comes my favourite track on the album, “High Voltage Kicks.” I’m not quite sure what high voltage kicks are but what I do know is that this track totally kicks ass. It starts out as a Southern blues number with some cool intricate guitar licks before the song goes total rock out. Even with the faster pace of the song, the backing vocals stay melodic. It’s the fastest song on the album.

Things continue to rock on “Give ‘Em Hell,” another great rocking song with some cool guitar riffs and brilliant solo. It’s proof of how good Helix are when they just let loose and go for it. “Shot Full of Love” is also a fast paced song and though it sounds like it’s all over the place at times, it comes together and makes a good song. It definitely has the best guitar solo on the album.

Now you would think a song called “Love Hungry Eyes” would be another power ballad but comes nowhere close to that! It’s a mid-paced song while not spectacular, keeps the album ticking over nicely. Then we come to the penultimate track, “She’s Too Tough.” This song was written by Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot and was meant to be on their “Hysteria” album but instead, it went to Helix and they do a good job on it. I do love the guitar riffs on the intro. However, with the benefit of historical hindsight, if Def Leppard’s intended version of the song was anything like what Helix do here, then it would have been too hard rock for “Hysteria.” Helix close out the album with a song which seems to incorporate everything they’ve done on the rest of the album. It has a progressive intro and there’s that blues party swagger to it and some great guitar work and drum fills. It’s a great way to end the album, even without the cheesy explosion at the very end.

Track Listing:

  1. Wild in the Streets
  2. Never Gonna Stop the Rock
  3. Dream On
  4. What Ya Bringing to the Party
  5. High Voltage Kicks
  6. Give ‘Em Hell
  7. Shot Full of Love
  8. Love Hungry Eyes
  9. She’s Too Tough
  10. Kiss It Goodbye
Helix and their friends

Brian Volmer- lead vocals

Brent ‘Doctor’ Doener- guitar, backing vocals

Paul Hackman- guitar, backing vocal

Daryl Gray- bass, keyboards, piano, backing vocals

Greg ‘Fritz’ Hinz- drums, backing vocals

Additional musicians:

Don Airey, Sam Reid- additional keyboards

Mickey Curry, Brian Doener, Matthew Fernette- additional drums

My theory is that on “Wild in the Streets,” Helix tried to be all things to all people and while the album sounds great, it didn’t work out for them commercially. Capitol Records would drop them from the label after this, which was a shame but the sign of the times of how one commercially unsuccessful album could be the death knell for a band.

Next post: Great White- Once Bitten

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to give Bruce Dickinson a knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Warlock- Triumph and Agony

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2022 by 80smetalman

There are two ways I can speak about three or four of the songs from Warlock’s 1987 album, “Triumph and Agony.” The first was when my sister sent me one of the many heavy metal compilation tapes she would send me in the late 80s and early 90s. Four of the songs from the album made it onto her tape and those four songs gave me an indication of how good an album this was. Those tracks were “All We Are,” which is the best known song from the album, “I Rule the Ruins,” “Kiss of Death” and “East Meets West.” The second way came about the two times I saw Doro at Bloodstock. In 2010, she sang “All We Are” and “I Rule the Ruins.” At Bloodstock 2018, Doro sang those two songs again plus “East Meets West.”

“All We Are” not only received limited airplay on US radio but got on the rotation at MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. It also opens the album well. “I Rule the Ruins” is a classic melodic metal song. I love how smoothly she sings the title at the chorus. While “Kiss of Death” didn’t get played either time at Bloodstock, it is in no way a lesser song. The song opens with a wolf howling followed by light strumming of the guitar before it goes into full metal swing with some crunching guitars and Doro showing her vocal range. It also has an interesting bass line when it goes back to the slower second verse only for the power to return at the chorus and then a blistering guitar solo. However, the song of the album for me and is “East Meets West.” There’s not much to the lyrics but then the line, “When east meets west, there’s gonna be one hell of a mess” kind of sums up what the song is about. The very frightening thing is that with what is going on in the Ukraine, these lyrics could prove prophetic. Lyrics or not, what makes the song for me is that newly added guitarists Niko Arvantis and Tommy Bolan solo their way all through the song, great stuff.

Doro on the Sophie Stage, Bloodstock 2018

Now let’s talk about the other tracks on “Triumph and Agony.” The actual length of “Three Minute Warning” is less than what the title suggests but it is a good bridge between “All We Are” and “I Rule the Ruins.” But the hidden gem for me is the haunting power ballad that is “Make Time for Love.” Shoot me for not remembering this track when I posted my top 30 power ballads a few years back. “Make Time for Love” is a true power ballad in every sense.

It would be a major mistake to assume that the final four songs from the album are filler. “Touch of Evil” opens with some foreboding sounds with drumming by guest drummer Cozy Powell. The song accelerates to being the closest Warlock comes to speed metal on the album, though that doesn’t stop the guitar solo fills from keeping up. After the audience cheers giving it a recorded live effect, Doro’s vocals make “Metal Tango” live up to its name. Again, some good guitar work here and the rhythm section makes themselves known on this one. “Cold, Cold, Cold” is a true power metal track, definitely one to bang along to. That brings us nicely to the closer, “Fur Immer,” which is German for forever and it’s sung in the band’s native tongue at the beginning but sung in English at the chorus. Very interesting and it works. It is more a ballad with the piano and the clever drumming in the background but a cool guitar solo rips in the middle.

Track Listing:

  1. All We Are
  2. Three Minute Warning
  3. I Rule the Ruins
  4. Kiss of Death
  5. Make Time for Love
  6. East Meets West
  7. Touch of Evil
  8. Metal Tango
  9. Cold, Cold, Cold
  10. Fur Immer
Warlock

Doro Pesch- vocals

Niko Arvantis- guitar

Tommy Bolan- guitar

Tommy Henriksen- bass

Michael Eurich- drums

Additional Musicians:

Cozy Powell- guest drummer on “Touch of Evil”

Rudy Richman- guest drummer

Sterling Campbell- guest drummer

Unfortunately, “Triumph and Agony” would be the last album made under the name Warlock. By 1988, Doro was the only original member of the band and the band’s ex-manager would sue for the rights to the name. Thus the name Doro was born but that’s another story. Still, this was a great album for them to go out on.

Next post: Shok Paris- Steel and Starlight

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for Bruce Dickinson to receive his justly deserved knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Loudness- Hurricane Eyes

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2021 by 80smetalman

While I was enjoying the sounds of Vow Wow in the UK during 1987, over in America, Loudness had put out another album titled “Hurricane Eyes.” It still amazes me how two bands from the same country got more appreciation in one country or another. Anyway, news of Loudness’s new album did reach me in the UK.

My initial reaction to “Hurricane Eyes” was that Loudness had come back harder and heavier than their charting previous albums “Thunder in the East” and “Lightning Strikes.” While “Thunder in the East” leaned towards melodic metal and “Lighting Strikes” did have song songs bordering on thrash, “Hurricane Eyes,” while not thrash, goes more in that direction. The first two tracks send that message loud and clear. Both tracks are quite heavy and I love how Munetaka Higuchi’s drum solo ushers in the album. It lets you know that Loudness are serious. Furthermore, Akira Takasaki rips a blinding guitar solo on the second track.

Track three, “Rock and Roll Gypsy” is a little more melodic proving that the band hasn’t abandoned what they had done on “Thunder in the East.” However, it is complemented by some hard pounding rhythm and full marks must go to Masayoshi Yamashita for his bass work on this track. Then on the track, “In My Dreams,” I ask myself, “How could have this cool power ballad escaped my detection?” This is a belter of a power ballad with the soft guitars followed by power chords on the chorus and a great guitar solo. However, while Minoru Nihara proves he is the great singer I always thought he was on the entire album, he particularly shines on this track as does the rest of the band.

Naturally, after a great power ballad, they must go back to more furious metal, which the band does on “Take Me Home” and continues it on “Strike of the Sword.” These are two tracks to get the blood coursing through your veins. I can almost envision a mosh pit forming on “Strike of the Sword.” Though things might seem to slow down on the next three tracks, it is only slightly. Besides, Akira’s guitar solo intro on “Rock This Way” definitely grabs your attention. What the song lacks in speed, it makes up in power chords. I want to rock their way. Then we get the mid tempo “In This World Beyond,” which gives me memories of their colossal “Crazy Nights.” Munetaka plays some heavy drums on this one. More melodic metal is the penultimate track, “Hungry Hunter” but closing the album out is the ballad “So Lonely.” While not as brilliant as “In My Dreams” in the power ballad stakes, it does take things out in the right mind.

Track Listing:

  1. S.D.I.
  2. This Lonely Heart
  3. Rock and Roll Gypsy
  4. In My Dreams
  5. Take Me Home
  6. Strike of the Sword
  7. Rock This Way
  8. In This World Beyond
  9. Hungry Hunter
  10. So Lonely
Loudness

Minoru Nihara- vocals

Akira Takasaki- guitar

Masayoshi Yamashita- bass

Munetaka Higuchi- drums

Refamiliarizing myself with “Hurricane Eyes” after so many years, I can say that the album has grown on me. While I don’t think it quite comes up to the dizzy heights of their previous two albums, I like the direction the album was taking the band at the time. This turned out to be a real power rocker.

Next post: Desmond Child

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Rock Albums of 1985: Heart

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2018 by 80smetalman

Heart’s 1985 self-titled album took the band into a more mainstream direction and gained them commercial success. The album contained five singles, “What About Love,” “These Dreams,” “Never,” “Nothin’ At All” and “If Looks Could Kill,” the first four making it into the top ten. Unlike Starship though, I didn’t immediately say that Heart had sold out and became a top 40 band because there is much on this album to like. On the other hand, this album didn’t make me want to put Heart classics such as “Dreamboat Annie,” “Dog and Butterfly” nor even their previous 1983 album, “Passionworks” to one side and not listen to them anymore.

What is interesting about this album is the song arrangement. If one was a top 40 listener, they would only need to listen to the first four tracks because those were the singles. I have always been a little surprised that “If Looks Could Kill” was released as a single because I like it so much. It is a fantastic album opener. Rocky, fast with some catchy hooks, it makes you want to stick around for the rest of the album. Something a great opener should do. Track two is the successful power ballad, “What About Love.” I think that after having the greatest power ballad of all time with “Allies” from their previous album, they probably thought they were on to something. While, “What About Love” is a decent power ballad, I do like Leese’s guitar solo on it, it doesn’t come close to “Allies” in greatness. “Never” would have been better if the keyboards were toned down a little more but it’s still a good song. Then comes the single, “These Dreams,” which was and always will be known as the song Nancy Wilson sings lead. It’s a soft rock ballad and one can’t fault Nancy’s voice, it’s good nor will I make sibling comparisons here. Ann and Nancy may be sisters but they have totally different vocal styles. The irony here is that “These Dreams” was Heart’s first number one single.

Once the four singles are done and dusted, the album goes back more to Heart’s traditional harder rock roots. “Wolf” and “All Eyes” are great rockers, especially the latter which gets my award for the hidden gem for the album. The keyboards are turned down and the guitars up, something that should have happened a little more with one or two of the songs here. The power ballad “Nobody Home” provides a brief respite between the more rocking songs. I’m surprised that was never released as a single as well. “Nothin’ At All” was the fifth single from the album and second to only the opener for hard rockyness, at least as far as singles go. It even reached the top 40 in the UK. “Shell Shock” is a good closer and it contains what is arguably Howard Leese’s best guitar solo for the entire album.

Track Listing:

  1. If Looks Could Kill
  2. What About Love
  3. Never
  4. These Dreams
  5. Wolf
  6. All Eyes
  7. Nobody Home
  8. Nothin’ At All
  9. What He Don’t Know
  10. Shell Shock

Heart (Mullet City or what?) 

Ann Wilson- lead vocals

Nancy Wilson- guitars, backing vocals, lead vocal on “These Dreams,” mandolin

Howard Lesse- guitar, keyboards, mandolin, backing vocals

Mark Andes- bass

Denny Carmassi- drums

Heart’s self-titled album brought them lots of commercial success in 1985. One can’t argue with five singles, four in the top ten with one going to number one. Some might think they sold out. I never thought that and there is enough of the old Heart here on this album to counter that claim.

Next post: Foreigner- Agent Provacteur

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1542834204&sr=1-1&keywords=michael+d+lefevre